Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcoming December with a Flashback to Summer--Elin Hilderbrand's "A Summer Affair"

Happy December! The holidays are upon us, and life is even crazier than usual. But make sure you take time out to read a good book! I find that for me, books are my most relaxing form of relaxation--something that is sorely needed in the craziness of the holiday season.

Let's start December off with a flashback to lighter summer days, with Elin Hilderbrand's "A Summer Affair." Although this book sounds super light and fluffy, I actually found it a little bit heavier than I thought and an enjoyable read.

"A Summer Affair", Elin Hilderbrand's seventh novel, follows Claire, a mother of four and artist in her late 30s who is struggling to deal with the realities of her life. After an accident in her studio, Claire delivers her fourth son prematurely, and her husband forces her to give up her art, which leaves Claire feeling adrift. When Claire accepts a position as a co-chair of a local charity gala, she hopes that it will give her some direction in her life. Little does she know it will lead to her beginning a relationship with Lock Dixon, the Executive Director of the charity. As the gala draws closer, will Claire be able to keep herself and her family together, or will she chose to flee her former life.

When I started this book, I thought it was going to be an airy light and candy coated fiction, where a woman has a carefree summer affair. I was surprised to find out that this book was much more complex, and really explored why Claire was involved in the affair, her guilt, and her emotional struggles with her life. The way Hilderbrand got into the head of her main characters was really interesting, and she did a great job building to the tension of the actual event and running multiple story lines at once.

This was the first Elin Hilderbrand novel I had ever read (I had always been turned off by the fluffy covers) but I think now I'm interested to read more. This was definitely better than I expected!

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